Get Up Now! – A Positioning Statement Case Study


Maritza ZapataBy Maritza Zapata, Director of Marketing, dash design

I am the marketing manager for dash design, an interior design and brand development firm  that has grown significantly over the past few years. And with that growth has come change.  Hence, the principal and I decided it was time to re-examine our positioning statement, collateral and all the tools we use to communicate who we are, what we do best and what value we deliver to the market to our various audiences. In other words, we need to create a positioning statement that answers who we are now.

The good news is that the foundation for building this new ‘mantra’ is in place. Our public relations agency, The Boreland Group, and I surveyed both our clients and staff. The resulting data will influence how we reposition ourselves based on goals set forth by our principal and executive committee.

There are, however, intangibles to consider along with the data. I keep going back to how do our services equate to value for our clients? What is it that we do better than most, and how closely does our internal perception match those of the outside world? How can I make this statement compelling, and accurately capture the value that our clients say we deliver? And how can I properly represent the incredible group of dedicated and talented creatives with whom I have the pleasure of working? As my fellow marketing professionals know, this is a challenge, and a serious task to undertake.

Recently, I had a meeting with our principal and another consultant who works with our firm on process and communication issues. This meeting was not about communication issues but rather to discuss the evolution of our positioning statement.  In the midst of our chat, the principal and I had a moment where we had differences of opinion.  After our meeting, it occurred to me that I had to examine his input not just for the obvious reason (he is the owner/ the principal of our firm), but mainly because he’s out in trenches and my work takes place here in our Long Island City-based headquarters. This was my a-ha moment!  I realized that part of the challenge of re-examining our statement was caused by the fact that I wasn’t actually in the field…that I needed to be out in the world, doing more networking and meeting with the very people who can assist me  in answering these questions regarding our positioning statement. Without that, I can only “see” half of the whole picture.

Don’t get me wrong. My time behind the desk has delivered value. I have helped to build a business that has grown exponentially in a highly challenging and competitive field.  But I need to do more….I need to get up and out from behind my desk to gain knowledge that will complement and grow my business acumen. This  new insight will allow dash design to best answer the question “who are we” and “what we do best” and “what value do we deliver to the market” in a much more nuanced and thoughtful manner. And that’s what I’m doing.

About the Author: Maritza Zapata is the director of marketing at dash design (, an interior design and brand development company headquartered in Long Island City, New York.  Highly regarded for her marketing expertise, Zapata previously worked at desgrippes gobé, G2 Worldwide and Enterprise IG. 


1 Comment

  1. Ford Kanzler on at 6:44 PM

    While you’re conjuring an updated positioning statement or claim, strongly suggest focusing on what your business does, that’s important to customers, that competitors do not do. The positioning claim needs to clearly differentiate your brand against others. Claiming what you do that’s just merely “better” doesn’t cut it. That comparative. Think about a single (not 6) value to customers that is different. Then a limited number of key messages (3 max) need to support that differentiation claim. This isn’t rocket science, its behavioral science.
    The best book on differentiation is Jack Trout’s “Differentiate or Die.” Jack is one of the two authors of “Positioning, the Battle for your Mind” the original work on the topic, also well worth reading.
    Also remember, you don’t position yourself. Your market positions your brand. Ideally, if you do the right things, including walking the talk, your market position and your positioning claim become aligned. It doesn’t happen overnight.
    Go to:
    for a short essay on the process I use to help get clients aligned and focused on a differentiated communications strategy.

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